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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Capital's Gray Economy



MOSCOW (MT) -- Some 28 percent of the economically active population of Moscow, or 1.5 million people, are employed in the gray economy, Interfax reported Igor Antonov, chairman of the Moscow City Duma's budget and finance committee, as saying Tuesday.

He said that the city budget had failed to receive 45 billion to 50 billion rubles ($1.4 billion to $1.6 billion) in profit and private tax.

Speaking in Moscow, Antonov said the federal tax policy does not permit regions to develop economic independence.

He said the base rate for profit tax was reduced this year by about 7.5 percent, while this form of tax was first in terms of proceeds to the city budget.

Value-added tax has vanished almost entirely from the budget, Antonov said. VAT contributed about 90 billion rubles to the budget at various levels, of which 13 billion went to the city budget, he said.




Sibneft Exports Soar



MOSCOW (MT) -- Sibneft on Tuesday said its crude exports for January increased 71 percent year on year, while oil product exports decreased 29 percent.

Sibneft exported 905,100 tons, or 210,500 barrels a day, of crude and 149,000 tons of refined oil products, according to the company's web site.

Overall output from Sibneft-Noyabrskneftegaz, Sibneft's main producer, rose 24 percent year on year to 1.92 million tons.

Sibneft, Russia's sixth-largest oil company, posted the highest rate of organic growth in the industry last year. Sibneft officials say the company plans to do the same this year.




Railways Lose $970M



MOSCOW (MT) -- Railways suffered losses of 30 billion rubles ($970 million) in 2001 from passenger transportation in long-distance and commuter trains, Prime-Tass reported Railways Minister Gennady Fadeyev as saying Tuesday.

The federal government regulates long-distance passenger rates, while local authorities handle commuter trains.

The rates are estimated to have covered only 70 percent of transportation costs in 2001.




Pipeline Finished



ROME (AP) -- The first of two lines of the $2.3 billion gas pipelines that connect Russia to Turkey via the Black Sea has been completed, Italian oil and gas group ENI SpA said Tuesday.

The 380-kilometer offshore stretch of the first pipeline is being jointly built by ENI and Gazprom.

ENI did not say when the second pipeline would be completed, but an official said it was likely to be finished before the end of this year.

The pipeline, which will bring natural gas from southern Russia to the Turkish capital of Ankara, will run for some 1,200 kilometers.




Good News for Pallada



MOSCOW (MT) -- The Federal Securities Commission has extended the Pallada asset management company's license for its mutual funds, Interfax reported commission spokesman Ilya Razbash as saying Tuesday.

The decision to extend the license was taken by the committee late Friday, Razbash said. The license was to be terminated as of midnight Feb. 13.

The total value of the funds exceeds $2 million.




Yukos Results Thursday



MOSCOW (Reuters) -- No. 2 oil producer Yukos said Tuesday it would release third-quarter 2001 results Thursday and will hold a conference call to be broadcast on its web site, www.yukos.com.

Yukos said in a statement the third-quarter results, to U.S. generally accepted accounting principles, would be posted on the web site and the conference call would be held at 6 p.m.




WBD Hits NEWEX



MOSCOW (MT) -- Top juice and dairy products maker Wimm-Bill-Dann's American Depositary Receipts have been admitted to the Vienna-based NEWEX bourse following an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange earlier this month.

WBD's ADS identification number is 534 436 and Wolfgang Steubing AG is the bookkeeping stock broker, NEWEX said in a statement Tuesday.

WBD will soon be admitted to NEWEX's Xetra trading platform, the bourse said.




NRB Eyes Regions



MOSCOW (MT) -- National Reserve Bank plans to invest $50 million to $100 million to create a regional retail network, Prime-Tass reported the bank's president and chairman as saying Tuesday.

NRB plans to acquire banks with retail networks and already has several proposals from unnamed Russian and CIS banks, Alexander Lebedev said.

NRB already owns a Ukrainian subsidiary called NRB Ukraina and is completing the acquisition of Voronezh bank, located in the city of Voronezh.

NRB plans to increase its statutory capital by issuing additional shares worth up to 15 billion rubles, Lebedev said.

The bank's statutory capital currently amounts to about 3.5 billion rubles ($113.6 million), he said.

"We would like to have a statutory capital of 10 billion to 15 billion rubles," Lebedev said.




Turkmen Gas Deals



MOSCOW (MT) -- Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov has approved cooperation plans with traditional buyers of Turkmen gas, including international gas trader Itera and Ukraine's state oil and gas company Neftegaz Ukrainy, Itar-Tass reported Tuesday.

Niyazov discussed cooperation issues with Itera president Igor Makarov and Neftegaz CEO Yuri Boiko on Tuesday.

Niyazov highly praised Itera's performance as a buyer and operator of Turkmen gas exports, Makarov said.

Makarov also said he had discussed with Niyazov plans to increase Turkmen gas supplies and Itera's participation in the supplies.

The two discussed facility construction issues at the Turkmen oil and gas fields, including joint projects with Russian state oil company Zarubezhneft.




WTO Consensus



MOSCOW (MT) -- Government agencies and ministries are under orders to resolve their differences concerning World Trade Organization accession by March 14, Deputy Economic Development and Trade Minister Maxim Medvedkov said Tuesday following a government WTO commission meeting.

The main disagreements center on the financial services, transportation and telecommunications sectors, as well as some trade items. In addition, the government still has to develop its negotiating position on agriculture.

Ministries and agencies are also to agree on a number of draft laws that must be passed before the country can join the WTO.




Klebanov Backs UAZ



MOSCOW (MT) -- Industry, Science and Technology Minister Ilya Klebanov visited the Ulyanovsk Car Plant, or UAZ, with a government delegation Monday and pledged his support for the factory.

His visit came after he was demoted from his position as deputy prime minister.

"I'm really glad that the factory is investing money into development. Its managers are thinking about the future," Klebanov said in a UAZ press release.

UAZ board chairman Vadim Shvetsov said producing cars domestically is better than importing foreign makes.

He said that it is important for the industry to use the local workforce, communications and resources, adding that the auto industry makes up a large share of gross domestic product.

In three to four years, UAZ could build new equipment for the army, Shvetsov said. Klebanov said the government could guarantee demand from the state for the new vehicle.




For the Record



Sberbank deposits grew 43.5 percent and lending rose 1.5 times in 2001, while loans to individuals more than doubled, Sberbank deputy chairman Gennady Melikyan told the Trud newspaper in an interview published Tuesday. (MT)

Mikhailovsky GOK, the country's No. 2 producer of raw materials for steel production, plans to invest $5.7 million to upgrade production, a 23 percent increase from 2001. The company plans to decrease production of ore and concentrates because of problems in the ferrous metals market. (MT)

NIKoil plans to invest $10 million in Avtobank to develop a joint sales system and train bank employees in NIKoil's products. (MT)